Illustration by EpicFaceFist. Photos by Julia Prescott.
When one has made the decision to be a contrarian toward virtually everything that most normal people find universally appealing, San Diego Comic Con probably seems like an easy target. It’s crowded, it’s bloated with aggressive corporate pitchmen, it’s expensive, phony, and
some all of the people there are super weird. That much is true, I can’t rightfully deny any of it. But despite all of this, it’s still pretty great!
Exclusivity Keeps Out the Riff-Raff!
I’ve been going to SDCC for six years in a row now in some sort of professional capacity or another. Dave Schilling is correct to point out (in his pissy, cynical diatribe against all things fun) that the process of getting a general pass from EPIC Registration is needlessly complicated. However! This is a necessary process to keep casual nerds from ruining the event for the actual nerds.
Professional passes are what we’re after here, and the accepted definition of what does or doesn’t constitute “professional” at SDCC is actually quite flexible. Do you dress up costumes? You’re a professional. Do you draw derivative sketches of pop culture characters on your Instagram? Professional. Have a blog? A YouTube channel? Air-sex champion? Professionals all!
It’s admittedly a nuisance having to jump through hoops, proving your “credibility” before you can even be given the opportunity to purchase a pass. But think about it like this: When an event is as overpopulated as this one is, you need some way to separate the OG dorks from the fair-weathers. SDCC is crowded enough without a few hundred more chuds in rascal scooters cutting in line and taking up space on the public walkways because they heard the cast of The Big Bang Theory was going to be here or something.
It’s Not Even That Expensive!
SDCC is pretty much an industry event at this point, like E3 or CES. If you have any business being here in the first place, your company is probably paying for your passes, hotel, travel and entertainment anyway, freeing you up to spend all your disposable income on limited edition hardcover comic books, vinyl toys, and apparel. But let’s say that you were the kind of person that wanted to spend your own money on a Comic-Con trip. Anyway you slice it, it’s still cheaper than tickets to Coachella, Burning Man, and FYF. All the same bullshit EDM DJs that pass for musicians these days are here playing the private parties, and you don’t even have to suffer through any 90s has-beens acts in order to get turnt like you would at Coachella. Win/Win!
It's Good for the Economy!
Every one of those mutants camping outside of Hall H just to get a glimpse of a sweaty, hungover Nathan Fillion or Joss Whedon who can barely function because they were out all night at a sweet industry party (that you weren’t invited to) is putting DOLLARS IN YOUR POCKET. I’m assuming that many of you readers must work in some kind of creative field, or else you’d be reading about Comic Con in “People” or watching a report about it on E! or something. But no! You profit directly from the ding-dongs that wait 24 hours in sweltering, humid weather just to be the first to see a trailer for the third of three Hobbit movies (that should have been one Hobbit movie) 15 minutes before the rest of the world sees it on YouTube. They are the reason you have jobs as writers and creative directors and graphic designers and whatever the hell else you do. Do not despair for the urban-camping enthusiasts, for they shall keep you employed! And you’ll be too busy to even consider doing something as stupid as camping outside of Hall H.
San Diego Is Better Than Vegas
San Diego is too small to host this many people. No one is arguing that. But consider the alternative: Vegas is the only place that actually is big enough, but Vegas sucks. It’s super douchey, all the bars are clubs, all the restaurants are buffets, it’s in the middle of the fucking desert, and it only exists to fleece tourists and bachelorettes with bad taste of their hard earned money.
San Diego is sunny and temperate, it’s on the water, and there are dozens of excellent restaurants and bars within walking distance of the convention center. Plus, five times as many people as the downtown area is meant to sustain produce five times as much local revenue for the local businesses. So moving the convention from San Diego would literally take jobs away form decent, hardworking people and put them in the underserving hands of the kind of person that would willingly live and work in fucking Vegas.
Sex Is Everywhere!
I don’t believe for a second that cosplay isn’t, on some level, a sex thing. The bronies and the furries don’t seem to have a problem admitting it. But for some reason, the superhero and video game cosplay types would have you believe that dressing up as Vampirella or Weapon X Wolverine and running around in your underwear and nipple tape all day isn’t sexy. But ask yourself this: what is the horniest holiday of the entire year? The answer is obviously Halloween. For cosplay people, Halloween is year-round, and SDCC is like a sexually charged, latex clad, drunken five-day-long climax of sweaty capes, erect, pulsating lightsabers, overflowing bustiers and body paint.
PLUS: an alarming majority of nerds are into crossfit all of the sudden, so the men and women both are looking pretty good, and want YOU to acknowledge their hard work at the gym and the sewing machine. Only on Tinder though, please, they can’t let their freaky secret identities be know to the general public.
Comic Con is the living, breathing epicenter of a cultural shift that can actually validate one’s inability to grow up and put your action figures away, read up on world events, get politically active etc. It’s a place to be a child forever so you don’t ever have to face the horrors of adulthood. It rewards you financially for being an “expert” in Doctor Who and/or Guardians of the Galaxy. It hands you a free drink on every street corner. It wakes up next to you in a hotel room, hungover, wearing nothing but face paint and Hulk Hands, then sends you back home to reality like none of it ever even happened. Does that sound like something that’s really worth all this vitriol?
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